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Brave officers deserve honor


RISK IS PART of the job when your occupation is police officer.

Just Ask Anne Arundel police Sgt. Rhonda Osborne and Detective Valerie Mills.

The pair confronted a suicidal woman who had cut herself with a butcher knife. One wrong move could have been fatal to the woman or the officers. The officers made all the right moves, however, disarming the woman with no further injury. Very risky, but part of the job.

Officers Stephen Taylor and John Yang climbed to a rain-slicked roof because a 17-year-old boy was threatening to jump. After some scary moments, the officers formed a human chain and brought the boy to safety. Risky stuff, but part of the job.

And Cpl. Earl Fox dashed to a burning car that had struck a guardrail. He pulled the driver, an elderly woman, from the vehicle despite inhaling toxic fumes from the vehicle's exploding battery. Risky indeed, but, the officer said, "It's just part of the job."

These brave officers and seven others got their due last week. Anne Arundel Police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan properly honored them with awards for going above and beyond the call of duty. Entering dangerous situations may be routine, but 11 officers really shined.

Chief Shanahan awarded the top honor, the Chief's Award for Job Excellence, to Cpl. Richard Morris. He's a 24-year police veteran who made a lot of arrests for driving while intoxicated and other criminal violations last year. In one case, he recovered illegal handguns and seized $12,000 worth of crack cocaine.

Citizens have come to expect this kind of performance from their public safety employees. Perhaps they should.

But Anne Arundel County citizens are fortunate to have plenty of officers who feel it is their duty to go above and beyond.

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